Virginia Beach Collaborative Divorce Lawyers
Experienced Collaborative Divorce Attorneys in Virginia
When most people hear the word "divorce," the first thing that comes to mind is a bitter, drawn-out battle between spouses waged in the courtroom. But no divorce is set in stone. What if there was a better way?
A collaborative divorce encourages negotiation between spouses, enabling you to compromise on mutually beneficial terms for your divorce with your soon-to-be-ex. Pursuing a collaborative divorce can help you save time, money, and stress as you dissolve your marriage.
What Is a Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative law offers spouses a way to dissolve their marriage without involving the court.
In a collaborative divorce, each spouse hires an attorney. The spouses and their attorneys then conduct a series of meetings to negotiate terms for various divorce-related processes, such as property division, child custody, child support, and alimony.
During these meetings, the attorneys may bring in other professionals to help the spouses compromise on equitable terms for their divorce. For example, your attorney may involve a certified public accountant (CPA) in the property division process to help you split assets and liabilities fairly with your partner.
Using collaborative law to finalize your divorce has a multitude of benefits:
- It's cost-effective. Collaborative divorce usually costs significantly less than filing for a divorce in court, since you can avoid court fees.
- It allows you to take control of your divorce. With a collaborative divorce, you don't have to worry about a judge who may not understand your case deciding the terms for your divorce on your behalf. Collaborative law gives you more control over your divorce, helping you (and your soon-to-be-ex) reach a mutually beneficial arrangement both parties find satisfactory.
- It's more amicable. If you share a child (or children) with your spouse, or just want to remain on good terms post-divorce, using collaborative divorce reduces the stress of the divorce process, helping you stay friendly with your partner.
- It's faster. Because you circumvent the court, collaborative divorce is often significantly faster than resolving your divorce in the courtroom.
How Do I Get a Collaborative Divorce in Virginia?
The collaborative law process in Virginia usually looks something like this:
- Both spouses agree to use collaborative law. You must agree to a collaborative divorce with your spouse, which means committing to resolving your divorce out of court (other than to finalize your divorce agreement).
- You and your spouse each hire a collaborative lawyer. Your lawyer will protect your rights and help you pursue your best interests as you navigate the collaborative law process.
- Meet with your attorneys and each other. You, your spouse, and your attorneys will conduct a series of meetings and negotiate equitable, mutually beneficial terms for your divorce.
- Draft a divorce agreement. Once you've agreed on terms, you'll draft a divorce agreement with your spouse. The agreement lays out how you'll handle things like property division, alimony, and child custody and support.
- Finalize your divorce. To finalize your divorce, you'll need to take your divorce agreement to your county court. A judge will look over the agreement to ensure that it's genuinely equitable and legally sound. Once the judge approves the agreement they'll sign off on it and issue a divorce decree, finalizing your divorce.
At The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller, we're proud to offer collaborative law services to our clients. We'll help you understand whether collaborative divorce is the right option for your case, protect your rights, and pursue an ideal outcome as you navigate the divorce process.